1. Oxford: Oxford and Empire Walking Tour – by Oxford Students
The Oxford and Empire Walking Tour focuses on the University as an institution that produced knowledge, qualifications, and networks, which found their more durable expression on a global scale. ‘Oxford and Empire’ starts at the Natural History Museum, highlighting the close links between the development of knowledge about the natural world and the early explorations voyages, the start of a documentation of the natural world on European terms. This rise of the sciences within the University courses coincided with the development and rise of the high imperial period in Britain. The Great Evolution Debate took place at the Natural History Museum, and its legacy loomed large with the creation of the Pitt Rivers Museum in a back building shortly after, to host the university’s anthropological collections in a typography which reflected fast developing social Darwinists’ beliefs in a hierarchy of civilisations. The tour thereafter takes us to the Rhodes house, interrogating the origins and legacies of a scholarship made of white men from the colonies, and further questions the imperial origins of a series of faculties in Oxford, such as Geography, Plant Science, and International Development. Ultimately, it is a tour that aims to highlight the complex and reciprocal relationship between Oxford and the Empire, and how it endures through the University's global appeal to this day.